How Do I Remove a Stuck Job From the Printing Queue?

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"Cancel All Documents" might help if you can't find the stuck print job.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

The fastest way to fix a stopped printer is to delete the offending print job from the queue. In cases where the printer still won't work after doing this, try restarting the Print Spooler service as well. In some cases, you'll need to restart the printer and perhaps even reboot the computer to fix the problem.

Step 1

Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Right click the printer icon in the system tray and choose "Open Devices and Printers." You might need to open the tray's hidden icons to find the printer icon. If you still don't see the icon, search for and open "Devices and Printers" on the Windows 8 Start screen or click "Devices and Printers" on the Windows 7 Start menu.

Step 2

Open the print job queue.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Right-click the stuck printer and choose "See What's Printing" to see a list of all queued print jobs from your computer.

Step 3

Delete a print job.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Select a print job and press the "Del" key to remove it. Click "Yes" to confirm. Usually, the job with the oldest time in the Submitted column is responsible for a stuck printer. A stuck job might display one of several statuses, such as "Sent to Printer" or "Spooling," or might have no status listed, so check the times rather than relying on the Status column to find the problem.

Step 4

Delete all print jobs.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Open the "Printer" menu, choose "Cancel All Documents," and then click "Yes" if you want to completely clear the print queue. While in the menu, confirm "Pause Printing" isn't checked; if it is, click it to resume printing.

Step 5

Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Press "Windows-R" and run "services.msc" if your printer remains stuck.

Step 6

Restart the spooler.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Select "Print Spooler" and click "Restart" to stop and start the Windows component that holds documents for your printer. This method sometimes fixes stuck printers without requiring a printer restart or a computer reboot.


When using a networked printer, check for stuck print jobs on every connected computer. Any machine with a stuck job can cause a printer to stop printing entirely.

If a print job won't clear from the queue when you try to delete it, and restarting the print spooler doesn't help, you may have to turn the printer off and then back on or even reboot your computer to clear up the problem.


After deleting jobs from the print queue, you will need to send each file to the printer again. If you closed a document without saving it, delete the other print jobs first to avoid losing your work. One of them may have caused the problem.

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